Senators Grill Mattis And Dunford On Afghan War Strategy

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

The Chairman of US Joint Chiefs of Staff has accused Pakistan's main intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) directorate, of having ties with terrorists.

Amidst the uncertainty facing the Iran nuclear deal ahead of an October 15 deadline, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday said the United States should remain in the Iran nuclear deal.

McCain, the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, declared that it was "bizarre" that Mattis and Dunford did not submit written testimony before the hearing started. Several members expressed concern the USA was wading more deeply into a conflict at great expense without prospects for long-term success.

USA officials said that the United States will send about 3,500 additional troops to Afghanistan.

"After 16 years, should the taxpayers of America be satisfied that we are still in a stalemate?"

Mattis said that Pakistan has a "convoluted history" with terrorism and that there is no doubt that terrorists and militant groups have used the nation as a haven to conduct attacks in other countries, and not just in Afghanistan.

Mattis further said he would be traveling to Islamabad soon, but did not give more details. This is totally unacceptable. "If not, I'll go back in" to ask Trump for additional troops.

The Washington Examiner reports the new rules of engagement are going to be a complaint to another change in strategy, which will put USA forces closer to the front lines.

Last month, the Pentagon, after long insisting that 8,400 troops were deployed in Afghanistan, admitted that it actually has about 11,000 troops there.

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"The enemy [Taliban] is under pressure, they have a loss of leadership and have become increasingly fractious", Mr Mattis said.

The Trump administration had earlier notified the US Congress that it was giving $255 million to Pakistan in military assistance only if it cracked down on terror groups.

People of Afghanistan, he said, have come to have "a deep and abiding affection" for the Indian people.

United States believes that Pakistan can have strong economic benefits from India if it carries out its worldwide responsibilities and brings an end to any kind of terror havens on its soil.

Still, both Dunford and Mattis said they're willing to work with Pakistan "one more time" before taking punitive measures against the country.

Senators at their hearing also raised a concern that few specifics have been revealed about the Trump administration's plans to change the USA strategy in Pakistan.

According to Mattis, the new strategy by the administration "has been welcomed nearly uniformly by leaders in the South Asia region, as well as by the 39 countries contributing troops to the NATO-led campaign". "It's in all their best interests", he said in response to a question from Senator Joni Ernest.

Tim Kaine - a chance to wade into the weeds of the Afghanistan situation.

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